‘Hey Hank. (pause). Can I crash in here again?”
(longer pause) “No.” Plain and blunt. He can’t crash in here again. Bad for the customers, Hank feels. Friday night: he stays open until 3 at the morning. He says this aloud.
“But… I’m Elvis Kannelvis. World famous dare-demon. I’d be a novelty item. Promote me, promote my jump into that gall darn hole the comet or whatever made.”
“No comet.” Hank was sure it wasn’t a comet.
“I’d sleep and people would come to marvel and perhaps lay coins on my eyes to pay for my passage to Valhalla.” He closes his eyes, imagining the tribute. For Elvis Kannelvis would surely die when he jumps, everyone will say.
“You will not die.” Hank: succinct again. He knew Elvis Kannelvis would not die jumping in the hole. He knew something else that most people didn’t. The hole has a certain depth, a certain width. He would not go far into it… unless…
“Unless…” he says out loud. He looks over at Elvis Kannelvis starting to stretch his pudgy, off-white garbed body across the vanilla white couch, like he’s settling in for the night, which Hank said he couldn’t. His eyes are still closed.
“Go ahead,” urged Elvis. “Say it.” He waits for the coins.
He’d been running past the Urban Ice Cream parlor for several days on his route around the Active Urban Mall. Urban again, he thought the first day. But not attached to Active. What gives? But he kept going, not tempted by the ice cream this time. He had to get fit to fit into the hole. Valhalla awaits! But not the way most people think. He had a cunning plan.
The second day he slowed down a bit while passing, but still didn’t stop. The third: temptation finally got the best of the sweets loving dare-demon, most famous for jumping Lizard Gulch out in the Oregon back country. Before now.
What a break! The door unlocked, the owner away. “5 o’clock,” he says, checking his watch and the width and depth of his procured bowl and spoon. Must have left early, he ascertains wrongly.
High on illegally gorged sugar he lay down on the same vanilla colored couch he does now, awaiting the coins, the adulation, the *worshipping*. For Elvis had designs on being some kind of God, a medium major or perhaps a high major one. Up there with Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein to be sure. Trouble is, he’d gained back all the calories in his three hours of gorging from the three days of exercise before. And now Hank, who discovered him still conked out the next day when opening up, says he can’t stay another night, despite the promise of a big payment later after the event is over. He has no way to lock up the ice cream. But now he seems to have changed his mind. “Yes,” he says to the prostrate wannabe super-hero, buttons almost popping from stomach heaves. “You can stay.”
He has a certain special ice cream he’s tucked away back in the freezer for this very kind of moment.